Heavy Metal Resource: Hello Milan, Appreciate you taking time to do this. I wanna wish you good luck with the album first of all! I like the direction you took on it!
Milan Polak: Hello Dave, thank you for this interview and for your great review of ‘Straight’. I liked the fact that you dealt with Milan Polak, the songwriter not the guitarist.
H.M.R. : You're welcome. Let's go ahead and get started. The album just came out. In what countries is it being distributed at this point?
M. Polak : As far as I am concerned, world-wide. With the possibilities of the internet you can order CD’s from different platforms all over the world anyway.
H.M.R. : No doubt about that.There is an obvious sound difference with this album versus your previous efforts. Why the change?
M. Polak : You may be surprised to hear that I never really intended to become a guitar hero. All my instrumentals were bypass products of my musical being, I have always wanted to play in a band and write & record – as I call it – “real music”, songs with lyrics.
Playing instrumentals only reaches a very limited amount of people. I make music for all people not merely musicians. So I felt it was time to move on and try to reach a wider audience.
H.M.R. : How did you feel different in your approach to songwriting where vocals had a very important role on this record?
M. Polak : Well, I have always written songs with lyrics. I have played in several bands throughout my career. Lyrics are a very important part of a song to me. I could never just write a whole album with lyrics like “I love you, you love me”, “We all are so happy”, bla..bla..bla. I just can’t get used to the fact that most people who listen to music do not even care about the lyrics. All my lyrics are true stories, reflections upon (my) life, sort of like my diary.
H.M.R. : Is this the first time you have taken the center stage with vocals? They sound great by the way.
M. Polak : Thank you very much, Dave. I have always sung backing vocals in the past. Many times after a show people would come up to me asking why I did not sing lead vocals because they felt I sang much better than the singer. And I would always have the same reply, “I am a guitarist not a singer.” Well, after years of trying to find a decent singer I gave up and decided to take a step to the center stage. Reactions were good so I decided to record ‘Straight’.
H.M.R. : Isn’t an instrumental album translated in a way through the guitar soloing and general guitar structure, where in Vocalized music it’s obviously lyrics and vocals?
M. Polak : Yes, usually it is like that. But if you listen closely to my instrumentals you may detect that I used the same compositional approach as I do with vocal songs. My instrumentals received a lot of great feedback from people saying that they rather sound like real songs with the solo guitar playing the role of a lead singer.
H.M.R. : What tracks are your favorites and if you have had feedback, what seem to take well with the fans?
M. Polak : That’s a tough one. Every song has a special meaning and was written for a special purpose. When I write songs it is similar to the process of digesting. The songs usually flow out of me, they force me to write them. I may not write a song in a month and then I may write 3 songs in one week. As far as feedback from fans & press goes, a lot of people like the ballads such as “Hero” and “All I Want”, others love “Psychobitch” or “Crosses” and recently I have received a lot of compliments for “I Don’t Care” and the bluesy “Glowing Of A Cigarette”.
H.M.R. : You know that I liked it all pretty well obviously. What are you trying to line up for touring this year?
M. Polak : Touring is always a financial issue. You have to pay the musicians, the roadies, the hotels, the catering, etc. Unless you’re lucky to have a record company or a sponsor taking care of it, it is very hard. I already financed the whole album myself, the travels, the musicians, the studios, the engineers, the mixing, the booklet, etc. At the moment I am trying to put a little tour together with drummer John Macaluso and bassist Fabio Trentini but no dates fixed at this point, I’m afraid.
H.M.R. : Speaking of touring, where you have a catalog of a lot of instrumental music and then the new record, how do you go about lining up some shows? Do you go for the vocal tour, instrumental, or basically just do some shows by yourself?
M. Polak : If I tour now it will only be to support my new album ‘Straight’.
H.M.R. : Okay, I do really like that vocal element anyway. Speaking of, I know the album is still early after release, but have you given much thought to which direction you may lean on the next record?
M. Polak : The next record will definitely be a vocal album again. You won’t be hearing any more instrumentals of me in a longer time.
H.M.R. : Who are you a fan of and basically, who do you listen to?
M. Polak : I wouldn’t really say I’m a fan of anything. I like a lot of different kinds of music and I listen to a lot of different stuff such as Beatles, Queen, AC/DC, King’s X, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams, Mother’s Finest, Toto, Police, old Van Halen, Pantera, I think Pink is great - man, the list goes on and on….
H.M.R. : What are your long term goals as a musician?
M. Polak : Survival.
H.M.R. : Haha, short and sweet, but in this day and age, that can still be a hefty goal nonetheless. Something off-topic, If you could do one thing that you think would change the world, what would that be?
M. Polak : Might sound cheesy but world peace. Get rid of religious fanatism (the source of all evil), prejudice, ignorance, superficial life style, hate, anger & greed.
H.M.R. : In closing, anything else we may have missed that you wanted to mention?
M. Polak : No, your questions have pretty much covered everything. Great job! A final word goes out to all my fans – thank you all for buying ‘Straight’ and for your great support. You make all this worthwhile.
H.M.R. : Thanks again! Good luck with everything!